Sunday, March 18, 2018

Illustrious Project - Escort

The next step in my Illustrious project is to add an escort ship to the game to help divert some of the Axis air attention. For Operation Excess in January 1941, Force A was made up of the carrier Illustrious, two battleships (HMS Warspite and HMS Valiant), and eight destroyers. While it was tempting to put a battleship out on the table, Kevin and I thought it would be better to go with something a little smaller. So it was down to one of the eight destroyers, which were: Dainty (D class), Greyhound, Griffin, Gallant (G, H class), Jervis, Juno (J, K, N class), Mohawk, and Nubian (Tribal class). But before the air attacks started, Gallant struck a mine and was being towed away by Mohawk, leaving only six destroyers.

I searched around for moderately priced model kits of the various classes, which really narrowed down the list. I finally settled on a Tribal kit for HMS Eskimo from Trumpeter models, which would be converted into HMS Nubian.
Trumpeter's Tribal destroyer
The Tribal class design emphasized guns over torpedoes, with four 4.7 inch twin gun mounts and one four-tube torpedo mount. For close-in anti-aircraft, the class had a four-barrel 2 pdr pom-pom and two quadruple Vickers .5 inch machine gun mounts. Later during the war, the X position mount (second from the rear, for you non-naval types) was replaced by a twin 4 inch high-angle AA mount to improve anti-aircraft defenses.The gun mount replacement was done on Eskimo in late 1940, while Nubian didn't get the 4 inch mount until late 1941. Luckily, the Trumpeter kit has the parts for either type of ship. So, I didn't have to worry about having the wrong mounts on my ship.

The Trumpeter kit is pretty well made and went together with out too much trouble. Although some of the small parts reminded me that my fingers aren't as nimble as they used to be and that I need to invest in some new modeling tools (like tweezers).
Profile view of the finished ship
Here is a little close view from the port side.
Port 3/4 view
Next up is trying to find the right camouflage pattern for the ship. I haven't been able to find an good image and the only descriptions I've read say Nubian was painted in an Alexandria type Mediterranean camouflage scheme. This generally means a light grey main color with a medium or dark grey pattern. I'll keep searching for better information (if anyone knows, feel free to add a comment to the post), but if nothing shows up I will probably do something similar to the scheme I used for Illustrious.